Conflict Prevention and Conflict Resolution

Conflicts exist in all countries and at every level of society. Conflict in itself is not necessarily negative, but rather an expression of differences of interest and usually involves the struggle for justice, equal treatment and development. However, when a conflict is not handled by peaceful means, when it escalates and people resort to violence, the negative impacts can be enormous.

A common and often overlooked reason for escalation and violence is the lack of mechanisms and institutions to address conflicts in a constructive manner. Conflict preventive and resolutive work is undertaken in order to avoid the occurrence of violence and its escalation and recurrence.

Dialogue and mediation are important tools in such work. A dialogue process is an open-ended discussion that entails listening, understanding, and the sharing of perspectives. A mediation process is more formalized, with a mediator providing a framework for negotiations aimed at reaching a concrete settlement, such as a peace agreement. Mediation processes are often instituted when a conflict has escalated and positions are more entrenched than previously.

Reconciliation is an important tool to prevent the recurrence of violence in a society emerging from conflict. Half of all violent conflicts re-emerge five years after the signing of a peace agreement. As such, a course of reconciliation is vital in a post-conflict society and must encompass the majority of the society’s members - whether perpetrators or victims, active or passive, in the underlying struggle.

Reconciliation can involve various approaches and activities. However, official reconciliation processes tend to include scrutiny of the past to establish the truth of what happened during the conflict, the consideration of elements of justice to redress victims, compensation in the form of reparations or memorials and national mourning days, and apologies at official or personal level.

In international peace missions in conflict areas, civilian observers play an increasingly important role. The observers’ mandate differ, but their role is often to monitor and follow up on human rights violations or to oversee the implementation of peace or armistice agreements. Their work is important and helps the international community to understand and resolve ongoing conflicts.

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Electoral violence a threat to peace and democratic development

Up to 84 million Nigerians are now going to the polls. But the risk of violence in connection with the presidential and parliamentary election casts a long shadow over Africa’s most populated nation. Hundreds of lives have been lost during earlier elections. Electoral violence is also a threat to peace in many other countries. FBA conducts research and training on prevention of electoral violence, and deploys election observers whose presence can contribute to law and order.

2019-02-13 11:32

IN THE FIELD

THE FBA BLOG

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    Reflections on the year that passed – and on the glue that holds society together

    December often is a time to look back at the year that has passed and like everywhere else, at FBA it is part of the job. It comes with filing reports, tying up loose ends and ensuring all paper work is in order before the new year starts, and with it a new budget and new projects.

    Another part of the job working for FBA and the Dialogue and Peace Mediation Unit is traveling. Over the past ... Read entire post »

    2018-12-27 10:14
  • Posted by Ludmila Ceban

    Escalation in Ukraine

    No one could have missed the recent escalated Russian aggression against Ukraine. While the daily casualties in Donbas (reportedly over 1300 ceasefire violations per day) tend to receive less media coverage, the declared martial law covering ten regions of Ukraine came as a reality check of sorts.

    Possible limitations on individual rights and freedoms remain to be seen, but there are apparent concerns about how the law might affect Ukraine’s long struggle for democracy. Efforts to strengthen ... Read entire post »

    2018-12-18 11:00
  • Posted by Anna Möller-Loswick

    Supporting women peace leaders: an investment in sustainable peace

    Women play vital roles in conflict resolution, conflict prevention and peacebuilding. They mediate conflicts at the local level, advocate for the needs and priorities of women to be addressed in official peace processes, and work tirelessly to build peace in their communities. Research shows that women’s direct participation in peace negotiations increases the durability and quality of peace. They can serve as brokers who connect women civil society networks at the local level to the official ... Read entire post »

    2018-08-23 14:19
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Taleb Sobeh

Taleb is expert on Iraq and Palestine

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